Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Pakistan on Tuesday accused Armenia of committing large-scale provocations at the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border and planting landmines in the liberated territories.
Speaking at a news conference to commemorate the second anniversary of the “Patriotic War” in the Karabakh region, Ambassador Khazar Farhadov said that Armenia is not interested in peace.
Azerbaijan offered Armenia peace immediately after the war, he said, adding that Azerbaijan offered peace despite the fact its lands remained under occupation for 30 years, people lived in suffering and deprivation, historical and religious monuments were destroyed, and cities were razed to the ground, and more than a million mines were planted.
He added that in a few months, Armenia committed repeated military provocations against Azerbaijan.
“More than 1,400 new landmines were planted in the Lachin district alone, and these mines were planted in 2021, after the war. This is a flagrant act of terror against Azerbaijan," he lamented.
So far, more than 240 Azerbaijani citizens have been killed or seriously injured due to landmine explosions since the war ended, he said.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions – Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Qubadli, and Zangilan.
Large-scale clashes erupted in the Karabakh region on Sept. 27, 2020, when the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
Azerbaijan then launched a counter-offensive operation, later dubbed “Iron Fist,” which led to the 44-day conflict ending with the liberation of Azerbaijani lands from the occupation of the Armenian forces. The fighting ended with a deal brokered by Russia.
“The Patriotic War put an end to Armenia’s nearly 30-year-long policy of aggression. Azerbaijan ensured its territorial integrity, and the fundamental rights of nearly one million displaced Azerbaijanis were restored.
“Azerbaijan alone ensured the implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions of 1993,” said the ambassador.
He added that the Azerbaijan government allocated nearly $3 billion to the large-scale reconstruction and restoration activities in the liberated lands.
Fuzuli International Airport, which was built just in eight months, is now operational while two more international airports – Zangilan and Lachin – are under construction and will be operational very soon, according to Farhadov.
Azerbaijani internally displaced people (IDPs) have already returned to liberated Zangilan region’s Aghali village, which was rebuilt on the “smart village” concept, he added.